Author Archives: Suzy Cohen

About Suzy Cohen

Suzy Cohen, America’s Pharmacist has been a licensed pharmacist for 25 years and is a functional medicine practitioner for the last 15. She devotes time to educating people about the benefits of natural vitamins, herbs and minerals. In addition to writing a syndicated health column, “Dear Pharmacist,” which circulates to 20 million readers each week, Suzy Cohen is the author of many different books on natural health. You may have seen her on The Dr. OZ Show (6 different appearances), The View, The Doctors, Good Morning America Health and hundreds of morning shows. www.suzycohen.com

Detox Your Body With Hot Springs In A Pill

Published: October 10, 2015 | By Suzy Cohen

Dear Readers,
I’ve written before about “fountain of youth” hot spring waters which are super rich in minerals and sulfur compounds. These substances penetrate the skin and relieve muscle aches/spasms, arthritis and skin rashes. The warmth of the water increases circulation which helps detoxification and improves blood flow to the heart.

I realize some of you cannot travel so recreate the hot springs in your own bath like I do. Mineral bath salts like “dead sea” salts are sold at many retail bath shops. You can buy bath salts at SelinaNaturally.comSeaSalt.com and RealSalt.com. You can also buy stronger (but still relaxing) detoxification baths that include mustard or ginger. I buy the “Mustard Bath Salts” online. The image shown with this article is Strawberry Hot Springs, located in Steamboat Springs, Colorado in the United States. I’ve been there, and it’s as incredible as it looks here.

Below you will find a list of natural, dietary supplements that detoxify you as if you were in a hot spring. Detoxification is just a “cleansing” of the cells (or gut) and that helps unstick pollutants. You clear toxins through a variety of processes including one called “methylation.” You can take any, or all of these but ask your doctor first:

MSM: This provides the body with sulfur, and sulfur is one of the key healing elements in hot springs. MSM stands for methyl sulfonyl methane and it’s found in fruits and veggies. Some clinical trials suggest that MSM relieves osteoarthritis pain by building up the squishy stuff between your joints. Sulfur-based compounds such as MSM are thought to detoxify the liver (by raising glutathione), improve allergies/asthma and clean out the gut. This is sold everywhere.

Taurine: This natural amino acid is sulfur based, and sulfur as you just learned is beneficial to the body. Taurine may help people with high blood pressure, heart arrhythmia, high cholesterol and GI problems. Taurine might help protect against macular degeneration.

Methionine: Another sulfur amino acid that helps you methylate, sold in health food stores. It helps build cell membranes, improve mood and joint pain. This goes on to form SAMe, another popular supplement.

B 12 and folic acid (or 5-MTHF): These B vitamins make it easier for your body to methylate and therefore, clear toxins. These Bs participate in a metabolic pathway pathway that protects us from breast and prostate cancer. Bs also protect the heart, blood vessels and nerves.

Magnesium: Hot springs contain a lot of minerals, including magnesium which goes right through the skin and eases muscle aches and pains. Magnesium is the basis for epsom salts actually, and is very soothing. Dietary supplements may improve mood, muscle pain and energy levels.

Silica: Some hot springs cast a gorgeous blue color, thanks to the high silica content.This trace mineral penetrates the skin and helps psoriasis, eczema and rashes. Silica supplements are a powerful bone builder and beauty tool because it helps form collagen. Think pretty hair, strong nails and supple skin. It may also help with varicose veins and hemorrhoids.

Suggested Tests for Better Health

Published: September 28, 2015 | By Suzy Cohen

Drinking from plastic water bottles, or taking “The Pill” can cause hypothyroidism by raising levels of estrogen hormone in your body.  The same can be said about menopause drugs which contain the same synthetic estrogen ingredients or commercial cattle injected with estrogen hormones to make animals heavier at the point of sale. In humans, these hormones raise estrogen, and estrogen holds fat. This sounds counterintuitive, but men frequently have high levels of estrogen, especially if they have prostate problems but that’s another article. My point is excess estrogen causes too many transporters, or taxis which bind up your active thyroid hormone. When bound like that, thyroid hormone is completely unavailable to your cells which is where you need it.

Scientifically termed “thyroid binding globulin” or TBG, these transporters drive your thyroid hormone around your blood and drop it off at your cells to wake you up and burn off that foot-long sub you had last night.
When TBG is high, free thyroid hormone (Free T3) is low and you will have symptoms of hypothyroidism, more specifically you are what I call “thyroid sick.” I talked about this in my Thyroid Healthy book. Ladies, please note that hypothyroidism is a risk factor for premature birth, low birth weight, miscarriage and poor fetal neurological development. Since the popular (relatively useless) TSH blood test doesn’t mirror how you really feel, and fails to reflect intracellular thyroid levels, I suggest two special blood tests which paint a better picture:
Sex Hormone Binding Globulin or SHBG

Suggested Level:  Women < 70 and Men < 30

What does “sex hormone” have to do with thyroid hormone? A lot, at least in women. It doesn’t correlate well in men though so I wouldn’t track SHBG in men. This biomarker goes up in response to 3 things, estrogen, insulin or thyroid hormone. They correlate directly. If SHBG is low, it means you have either low estrogen, high insulin (diabetes to follow) or low thyroid hormone.

Thyroid Binding Globulin or TBG 

Suggested Level: 13 – 39 mcg/ml

This is a blood test to evaluate how many “taxis” or transporters you have in your blood stream. The Pill increases your TBG that’s why you feel more tired on those drugs. They latch onto your thyroid hormone and that makes you tired. Progesterone medication or creams may help, ask your doctor.

There are a few simple things that help. For one, you can switch out your plastic water bottles for glass bottles. You can buy grass-fed, organic free-range meats more frequently. You can find an alternate form of hormone replacement or contraception. You can ask doc about natural over-the-counter aromatase inhibitors like chrysin or DIM. You should try different thyroid medicine or higher levels of T3. Most of all, don’t resign yourself to “this is just my life” or “my doctor is really nice so I can’t speak up for myself.” I believe you can get well. Never resign yourself to symptoms that leave you feeling less than healthy, sexy and energetic!

How Spices Work Like Medicine

Published: September 13, 2015 | By Suzy Cohen

I’m one of those cooks that combines whatever I find in the fridge or pantry without a plan. I’ll throw spices and foods together like a mad scientist, kind of how I did in Organic Chemistry in 1987 (hoping I wouldn’t blow up the lab). Recently, I went to my first cooking class, “Secrets of Indian Cuisine” at Sur La Table.
Focusing was difficult since I was distracted by the incredible aroma of the garlic, onion and seasonings which were simmering in the pot. Our chef taught us how to create the most amazing Chicken Tikka Masala I’ve ever tasted! In between bites and moans, I asked why his tasted so much better than the restaurant version. He said, “The secret is the spice you use.” He did not use the powdered spices you get from a regular grocery store. His were fresh and he turned both the cumin and coriander seeds into powder using a little electric coffee grinder.

Our eyes widened as he passed around his freshly ground spice with the same store-bought version. The color was completely different. One whiff and his point was made! I decided it’s worth the extra 5 minutes to use spices his way. Indian spices are some of the healthiest on the planet and can act as an aphrodisiac, antibacterial, immune booster, respiratory aid and digestive tonic. I recommend these:

Garam masala- This is not one spice, it’s a blend which differs regionally. It usually contains cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, peppercorns, bay leaf and mace (not the kind of mace you spray in a mugger’s face, this “mace” is a waxy red coating off a nutmeg seed.) Garam masala can help you with digestion and respiratory conditions.

Nutmeg- It contains myristicin which inhibits an enzyme in the brain that contributes to memory loss. Eugenol, isolated from cloves contains an antiviral that is so strong it can kill the virus associated with shingles and herpes cold sores. Garam masala is used as a finishing spice, not intended to be heated.

Curry- This contains a blend of spices, including turmeric known for it’s anti-cancer benefits and ability to reduce inflammation. Curry blends may cause diarrhea in sensitive people. In case you have ever experienced an Indian food reaction, curry is the ‘laxative.’
Coriander- It’s from the seeds of the cilantro plant but it tastes nothing like cilantro. Lightly toast them to extract more flavor. This spice reduces insulin and blood sugar and one study suggests it binds heavy metals such as lead.

Green cardamom seed- During cooking class, I gently popped open the seeds in a mortar and pestle by tapping them, and then simmered both the seeds and outer shells in oil. Cardamom is rich in minerals, especially potassium so it’s medicinal action on the body is to reduce blood pressure and control blood clot formation. Chewing the seeds helps with bad breath. What a difference compared to the store-bought powdered type. This spice is used in chai tea. There’s also a black cardamom seed which has more of a smokey flavor.

Cumin seed- This is rich in iron in case you have anemia. Cumin is the seed of a small parsley plant. It helps you secrete bile acids and pancreatic enzymes and that helps you break down your food. It also has anti-diabetic actions like the sulfonylurea medicines. Chewing and eating slowly can also help you break down food more efficiently. Cumin contains pyrazines, which are strong antioxidants. Cumin spice improves the action of enzymes in your liver so that you can detoxify better, and this will also help with constipation.

Fenugreek- You can buy the seeds and crush them. They have estrogenic properties so some women use them to control hot flashes, or to induce breast milk production. Older folks can benefit from the cholesterol lowering properties of fenugreek. In a 2011 edition of “International Journal of Experimental Pathology” lab animals fed a diet laced with fenugreek enjoyed reduced cholesterol by 42 percent and fewer gallstones by 75 percent.  Fenugreek also reduced oxidation of lipids in the liver by up to 22 percent.

Ghee- This type of butter originated in India. It’s butter that has been slowly melted to separate the milk solids from the golden liquid on the surface. It’s simmered slowly until the milk solids start to brown, so the resulting butter has a nutty, caramel-like flavor and aroma. You can make this at home or buy it an Indian specialty grocery store.

Basmati rice- It’s a long-grain rice native to India. You can buy this at any grocery store or specialty market. He soaked his grains for a few hours then poured off the water and cooked it like you would regular rice. This makes it easier to digest.

Here’s the recipe that I’ve adapted which originally came from Sur La Table. I highly recommend their cooking classes. They’re fun, and inspiring.

Tikka Masala sauce
4 tbsp ghee
1 small yellow onions, sliced
2 tea minced garlic
2 tea minced ginger
1/2 cup tomato paste
12 green cardamom pods
1 tea crushed red chile flakes
4 tea ground turmeric
2 tea ground coriander

2 tea ground cumin

1 can (28 ounce) crushed peeled tomatoes
2 cups heavy whipping cream

2 tea garam masala
Sea salt to taste
1 tbsp lemon juice (to taste)

Directions: Place ghee into a large saucepan over medium heat. When ghee is melted, add the onion and cook until tender about 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook another minute longer. Stir in the tomato paste, chili flakes, cardamom pods and seeds (which you gently break apart in a mortar and pestle). Cook and stir frequently until the tomato paste darkens in color, about 5 minutes. Add remaining spices until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes to your sauce and bring everything to a boil while stirring. Then reduce heat to simmer, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Stir in the cream and simmer gently, about 15 more minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and lemon juice as you wish.  This is your sauce. Some of you will just pour this over plain chicken and eat it, but the REAL way to make Chicken Tikka Masala is to use this sauce and pour it over chicken that has been marinated.  Here’s the recipe to marinate your chicken.

Chicken Marinade
You can do this the night before, or even a few hours in advance.

Mix together the following to cover your chicken: 
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp minced real ginger (not powdered)
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 tea ground cumin

1/4 tea freshly ground mace
1/4 tea freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tea ground green cardamom

1/4 tea chile powder
1/4 tea turmeric powder
3 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
Add the 6 skinless boneless chicken thighs to marinate

Directions: Time to cook your marinated chicken. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Position the rack in the center. Arrange your chicken on a cooking sheet, or even better put it on top of a wire rack on the cookie sheet. Arrange it all on a single layer and cook thoroughly until it has begun to brown. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes.
To serve:
Place cooked rice on the plate and place your chicken on the plate. Cover with Tikka Masala sauce and serve immediately.

Thyroid Health and Iodine Deficiency

Published: September 9, 2015 | By Suzy Cohen

Dear Pharmacist,

I saw your facebook post on iodine and have hypothyroidism. I”m convinced I’m deficient, tell me more about deficiency and how to feel better? –E.P., Scottsdale, Arizona

Answer: Iodine is so important and you may run low if you swim in chlorinated swimming pools, drink certain beverages or brush your teeth with typical toothpaste.Iodine is one of the components that helps make thyroid hormone. It starts out as thyroxine or T4 for short.  The “4” refers to the number of iodine molecules bound on to the “T” which stands for tyrosine. Thyroid hormone is just iodine and tyrosine glued together. At some point, one of the iodine molecules leave, and you’re left with T3 which is your body’s fuel. T3 wakes you up and burns fat, it makes you pretty. Doctors can’t agree on what the best range is. I think you’ll feel well if your T3 is between 3.5 – 4.2.The thyroid gland is the only part of the body that has cells capable of absorbing iodine, which it gets from food, iodized salt, seaweed but it doesn’t get nearly enough. I was shocked when I learned that the American Thyroid Association reported that approximately 40 percent of the world’s population remains at risk for iodine deficiency. I think part of the problem is that foods grown in mineral-deficient soils are less nutritious. Bring in chemicals called halides such as fluorine, chlorine and bromine.  These halides are annoying bullies and race for the same spot on the cell that iodine does, the bullies win.

Who are the bullies? For example, a very popular sports electrolyte drink contains bromine, your pool and jacuzzi contain chlorine and most toothpastes contain fluoride. It’s not any one punch, it’s the cumulative effect. You know how you love that new car smell? Some of it is off-gassing of bromine, and you’re breathing it in. Your thyroid gets upset.These bully halides are drug muggers of your iodine, they could cause deficiency. This increases your risk for becoming hypothyroid: Hair loss, depression, always feeling cold, weight gain, brittle fingernails, constipation, pale, dry skin. Did I mention fatigue? Oh yeah, it’s constant and you wake up only after that triple shot latte.

Iodine deficiency is not always the only cause for hypothyroidism. Your doctor can test you so don’t take iodine indiscriminately because it can cause hyperthyroidism and nodules. If you read my 24-Hour Pharmacist book, you’d know that I only recommend supplements that contain both “iodine” and “iodide” because different tissues of the body respond better to certain forms of Iodine. The thyroid gland loves iodide while the breasts and prostate crave iodine. That’s why I recommend either I-throid capsules, or Iodoral tablets (however, those tablets contain pharmaceutical glaze in case you are sensitive). Health food stores can order either of these for you, or buy online. I don’t like liquid iodine supplements, they usually taste unpleasant and I’m never sure of consistency from drop to drop.

Learn more in my book Thyroid Healthy

Strangely, Acid May Ease The Burn

Published: | By Suzy Cohen

Dear Pharmacist,
You’ve said that if you have twitches, leg cramps, spasms or heart arrhythmias that you could be deficient in acid. What does this mean? I am taking an acid pill myself for reflux.
– L.B. Las Vegas, Nevada

You’re not taking an “acid” pill, you’re taking an acid-blocking pill for reflux. Those drugs are suppressing acid so you don’t get reflux. But this is important to know. If you run low on stomach acid, you will experience those symptoms above due to your inability to extract minerals from your foods. You see, stomach acid is necessary to get minerals and nutrients out of your food, and into your cells.

Acid-blocking drugs inhibit that process, causing undigested food globules to pass through your stomach and then, microscopic proteins leak into your blood stream. It could launch an auto-immune attack, so having sufficient stomach acid is important to your entire digestive tract. I’m not against acid blocking drugs. Thank goodness we have them for when those spicy buffalo wings revisit us at 1am.

Controlling a genuine problem is fine with me, but indiscriminate consumption of acid blockers (sold without prescription in the United States) is not a good idea. Understand, stomach acid is not bad, it’s only bad if it’s produced in excess. Did you know that you will experience symptoms of heartburn if you make too much acid, but also if you are deficient? Weird but true. Healthy amounts of stomach acid keep the tiny trap door shut between your stomach and esophagus. This sphincter is pH sensitive and in a healthy person, it stays shut because of the natural production of acid in the stomach. When you reduce stomach acid, you then have insufficient amounts, and your stomach pH increases and this causes the trap door to swing open, causing heartburn. That’s why some people who take a digestive acid supplement (like betaine) sometimes feel better. Small amounts of healthy digestive acids keep the trap door shut, and the acid where it should be (down in your stomach) as opposed to your throat!

The signs of low acid (termed hypochlorhydria) include heartburn! Surprised? It’s true. Also, you see irritable bowel, belching, cramps, food sensitivities, rheumatoid, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, gallbladder disease, osteoporosis, pancreatitis, yeast infections and rosacea. You will certainly have chronic fatigue because acid is needed to give you minerals which then participate in the production of both thyroid and adrenal hormones. No doubt, a little betaine can breathe life into some tired people (but get your doctor’s approval even though this is over-the-counter). I don’t know what’s right for you.

Digestive acids are sold at health food stores by names such as “betaine hydrochloride,” “betaine with pepsin” or “trimethylglycine.” Begin supplementation by titrating your dosage upward based on symptom relief. Take acid supplements during your meal, or right after and space them apart by 5 minutes if you take more than one pill. Ask a knowledgeable practitioner if acid supplements are right for you and have your zonulin and gastrin levels tested.

I Got Into a Fight With a Doctor

Published: September 8, 2015 | By Suzy Cohen
Doctors are my friends, so I was dismayed to lose my cool with a physician recently. My husband Sam (who has Lyme disease from a tick bite years ago) developed symptoms that might get diagnosed as “restless legs syndrome.” The vibrations, creepy crawly sensations and shocks were not just in his legs, they were head to toe! His limbs felt like they contained concrete. This went on for weeks. On a good night, he could sleep two hours. His misery began after starting some new antibiotics.

I accompanied Sam to his appointment. His doctor was not concerned about the full-body problem which was disrupting both of our lives. Forty-five minutes into the appointment, he called me out for interrupting him and made a “shh” sign. It felt confrontational, after all, we pay $350 per hour and I was just trying to get him to focus on the unpleasant symptoms, not an incidental finding on the latest lab. This was a serious drug-induced reaction needing immediate intervention, yet he outright refused to discontinue the antibiotic because that would “introduce a new variable.” And likewise, I resisted introducing the variable of my shoe to his forehead! Just how long should you watch your loved one suffer before you fight with the doctor?

Have you ever known a physician who:

– Showed little or no compassion
– Refused to listen or take your detailed history
– Did not fully grasp the gravity of your condition or what awful thoughts run through your head when you are home alone, feeling isolated or in pain
– Charged you way too much for the benefit you received

You’ve been there, haven’t you? After an hour of dilly-dallying, I presented reasonable suggestions and solutions (though he disagreed). Sam meekly appealed but he was worn out and sleep-deprived and besides, drug reactions are my expertise, not his. I stopped biting my lip, and this slipped out,

For what we pay, it would be great if you listened to your patient and had a nicer bedside manner!

Infuriated with his obstinance, I walked out in a huff. Just FYI, the “restless” limb problem may occur with any antibiotic protocol, and it’s sometimes part of a Herxheimer reaction. It’s associated with various neurotransmitter and nutrient deficiencies. Thankfully, it was addressed by another compassionate, Functional Medicine physician who is both brilliant and merciful.

When you kill germs (bugs) with antibiotics, you have to clean up an hour afterwards. It’s like wringing out a sponge, kill the bugs, wring out the dead bug parts and “excitoxins.” To accomplish this, doctors sometimes prescribe cholestyramine powder, or natural binders like clay which are taken one or two hours after your antibiotic. Some binders and supplements reduce your toxic load of glutamate, ammonia and quinolinic acid, which are three excitotoxic compounds that are unleashed with antibiotic use. You want to reduce those. They can make your brain buzz, or limbs vibrate, or induce restless legs, seizures, clusters, migraines, fasciculations and severe insomnia. Now, it’s time for you to stop suffering. Speak up for yourself and don’t accept the “wait and see” attitude. Fight for yourself, or your loved one, and if you want, bring along a pit bull like me.

5 Truly Awesome Ways to Boost Immunity

Published: | By Suzy Cohen

Ever wonder why you get sick? It’s due to your immune system working properly. People who never, ever get sick boast with pride, “I never get sick!” but this is not necessarily a good thing. It could mean that their immune system has been run over by a Mack truck (hijacked by a chronic low-grade infection) and they lack the soldiers to fight. So they just don’t mount an immune response. It’s not necessarily bad to get sick once in a while. This article will teach you how to create such a strong immune system that germs cannot penetrate you. At the end of this article, read my 5 Trojan Immune Shields and implement them. You’ll also learn how to reduce antibody production when appropriate and how to raise antibodies. Most importantly find out what medications and supplements can affect your immune response.

The purpose of antibodies, your “soldiers” are to identify antigens and neutralize foreign substances (termed antigens), so that they can’t make you, the host, sick.  Antibodies are soldiers that seek and identify (and/or destroy) the invading enemies such as dander, pollen, gluten, or pathogens like E. coli for example.
Immune cells send a message when they encounter an antigen. Food sends a message to your immune system too. Everything you eat sends a message of either friend or foe. The signaling that occurs when your body comes into content with the Flu virus versus  walnut, versus the scent of perfume is rather amazing. The same complex signaling from your cells occurs when you come into contact as a 2 year old, or a 65 year old. Your soldiers are called “immunoglobulins” and they are may by your body.

Why is testing for antibodies important for you?

A test for immunoglobulins (antibodies) in the blood may be useful to:

Look for clues to uncover certain autoimmune diseases
Determine if you have sensitivities to food, spices, or other antigens

Detect certain types of cancer (such as multiple myeloma or macroglobulinemia)

See whether recurring infections are caused by circulating IgGs

Evaluate progress for certain types of cancer that affect bone marrow.

Check the treatment for Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria.

Check your response to immunizations to see if you have developed immunity

Check to see if you have a current infection or if you have been exposed to one
Your immune system makes the immunoglobulins in response to many things including bacteria, fungus, viruses, animal dander, pollen, foods and others. Some people refer to immunoglobulins as antibodies. You can use these terms interchangeably. Antibodies are formed to your self, and to foreign substances. If you’re immune system went on overdrive, it would be hyper vigilant, on guard all the time and it would shoot friendly fire. This is the case for autoimmune diseases. People think autoimmune disorders happen to people with weak immune systems, but it’s just the opposite. It’s people with strong, hyper immune systems. The soldiers cannot recognize “self” from “nonself” anymore, so they shoot down everything.

Here’s another visual for you. People with a balanced immune system use a 44 magnum to shoot the invader, one time. People with an autoimmune disorder use a shotgun in order to splatter everything. Make sense now?

Your food should stay in it’s own tube!

Secreted all over your body, immunoglobulins or “antibodies” make up a big portion of your immune system. You see the abbreviation of “Ig” for immunoglobulin if you read the literature. About 80% of your immune system cells reside in your gastrointestinal system, that’s why your health is so dependent on what you eat. Whatever you are eating comes into contact with antibodies inside your gut first, and then once past your intestines, some of your partially digested food leaks out of your intestines (darn, that’s bad!) and then your bloodstream gets hold of the loose particles and undigested proteins (casein from dairy, gluten from wheat), and sends a signal to unleash your immune system soldiers, the antibodies. They react, you feel bad and the cycle of inflammation begins.

What are antibodies? 

They are nothing special in particular, they are just little, tiny proteins that hooked on to sugar molecules in a specific formation. There are 5 major antibodies categories,  and they are abbreviated:

IgG = Immunoglobulin G
IgA = Immunoglobulin A
IgE = Immunoglobulin E
IgM = Immunoglobulin M

Those are your primary soldiers. They are pronounced as the letters, for example, “I-g-E” you don’t have to say “immunoglobulin” just say the 3 letters. There are others that we aren’t 100 percent certain of the function of, but we know they exist (like IgD for example).

You have a bazillion antibodies, you can’t ignore them

Antibodies are highly customized since they are made for each and every single type of foreign substance you have ever encountered. For example, the antibodies you make in response to a herpes infection are different than the antibodies you make in response to strep throat. The antibodies will attach only to the microorganism

Antibodies also work in allergic reactions. Occasionally, antibodies may be made against your own tissues. This is called an autoimmune disease. One of the most common autoimmune conditions is Celiac disease, a digestive disorder that causes symptoms which may mimic multiple sclerosis or other neurological diseases. It’s not limited to diarrhea like many people think! Antibodies to gluten, the protein found in wheat, barley and rye will be high in a person who has gluten sensitivity, as well as Celiac disease (which is autoimmune). I’m going on a tangent now, but I have to. There are so many of you who tell me that you’ve been tested for gluten and you are negative. I don’t believe your tests, unless you’ve done them through Cyrex Labs.  The reason is because conventional tests done in doctor’s offices around the world check for one portion of the gluten molecule (the “alpha gliadin” portion) and if you are negative for that, you are told you are negative for gluten sensitivity. If the results of your test are wrong, and it frequently is, then you will continue to expose yourself to foods that inflame your body and destroy your intestinal villi and make you sick, neurologically sick. The Cyrex Lab test that I’m suggesting tests for ALL the portions of the gluten molecule, not just one.  Only and I mean ONLY if that test is negative will I believe your results. You can’t just test one portion of a molecule that has about a dozen portions and make any definitive conclusions from that one portion tested!

But what if your immune system is suppressed and makes too few antibodies?

If your immune system makes low levels of antibodies, you would have a greater chance of developing repeated infections. You can be born with an immune system that makes low levels of antibodies, or your system may make low levels of antibodies in response to certain diseases, such as cancer.

IgM
This is a BIG molecule, the biggest of them all!

Most efficient of all of them, it has 10 different antigens binding sites.
IgM is the first responder when you get infected, these travel to the area of infection first.
These are found primarily in the blood and lymph
It’s usually high in the initial phase of an infection, but sometimes this can be elevated years after you’ve been infected due to a process called epitope switching.

May be elevated: Viral hepatitis, macroglobulinemia, mononucleosis, nephrotic syndrome, parasites, various autoimmune disorders, Lyme disease (both acute and chronic).

May be suppressed: Multiple myeloma, some types of leukemia, autoimmune hemolytic anemia (where your body turns against your red blood cells), Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus and certain inherited immune disorders.

IgG
Most abundant in the body, but the smallest in terms of size.
About 75 – 85% of the antibodies you make are IgG and they are found everywhere in the body

Stays with you forever.

When IgG levels are appropriate and your immune system works properly, it enhances this other  process in your body called “phagocytosis” which is kind of like Pac Man. Phagocytosis makes your cells gobble up and neutralize poisons. Chomp chomp. That’s what you want. When phagocytosis occurs with a high levels of efficiency, the benefits include better energy, more restful sleep and reduced allergies.

Physicians commonly run panels to determine infection with EBV (Epstein Barr Virus). In most populations, at least 90 percent of the adult population will have been infected with EBV sometime in the past and therefore, will be positive for antibodies, noted as “positive” for anti-VCA/IgG and anti EBNA (as it might appear on your lab paperwork).  Antibodies to EBNA develop 6 to 8 weeks after primary infection and remain present for life. Presence of these IgG antibodies indicates exposure, since IgG antibodies stay with you for life. Only the presence of IgM antibodies indicated a recent primary infection with EBV.
The IgG antibodies are the only ones that can cross the placenta to protect a developing baby.
There are 4 subclasses named and immunologists commonly order “IgG subclass” panels to determine if there are deficiencies in any of these:
IgG1
IgG2
IgG3
IgG4

IgG may be elevated: Chronic infections such as Lyme disease, HIV, Bartonella, MRSA; Multiple myeloma, hepatitis, and various autoimmune disorders including multiple sclerosis (MS), psoriasis, lupus, and others.

May be suppressed: Macroglobulinemia, some forms of leukemia and nephrotic syndrome. Some people naturally produce very little IgG, or they have an immune system that has been hijacked (think of Lyme disease) and as a result, their body cannot mount a proper immune response, so the IgGs are low.

IgA
The main immunoglobulin in saliva, nose, breathing passages, tears, colostrum, gastrointestinal and vaginal secretions

It’s job is to prevent attachment of the pathogen to the mucous membrane

May be elevated: Multiple myeloma, various autoimmune disorders (lupus, rheumatoid and others), cirrhosis of the liver, hepatitis

May be suppressed: Certain types of leukemia, nephrotic syndrome, gastrointestinal disorders.

IgE
Least abundant in the body but has the most powerful effect
It’s responsible for mediating allergic reactions and life-threatening ones called anaphylaxis
It reacts with mast cells which contain histamine, allowing them to dump their contents and have a profound allergic effect in the body.

Find it mainly in the lungs, skin and mucous membranes
If you are allergic to dairy, shellfish or other foods, you’re allergic to medications, it is IgE that is driving the reaction.
May be elevated: Parasite infections, allergic reactions, asthma, atopic dermatitis, eczema, certain autoimmune disorders (lupus, rheumatoid, psoriasis), some types of cancer.

May be suppressed: Ataxia-telangiectasia (affects muscle coordination).

How do you test antibodies?
It’s just a blood test. There’s nothing you need to do to prepare. I suggest you take the blood test early in the morning, between 6 and 9 am if you possibly can. This is because antibodies tend to be at their highest level in the morning. This is not a hard rule, so do as your personal physician suggests. The normal reference range varies from lab to lab. Your doctor will evaluate your results based on your health and other factors.

My favorite lab for antibody testing is Cyrex Labs because they test both IgG and IgA when they evaluate your blood. Their “Array #5 Autoimmune Reactivity” test requires only 1 tube of blood and measures both IgG and IgA antibodies for 24 different tissues in your body.

Watch out!
Some medications and treatments can affect the levels of antibodies you make. Look at all the different ways your antibody levels can be affected:

-Taking certain medicines. For example, oral contraceptives, corticosteroids, antihistamines, anti-leukotriene drugs, seizure medications, methotrexate,    drugs for heart failure or rheumatoid arthritis.
-IVIG treatments

-Chemotherapy
-Radiation

-Receiving a blood transfusion in the prior 6 months.

-Vaccinations

-Drinking alcohol
-Using illicit drugs.

-Imaging of the body that uses radiation (such as a CT or X-ray)

Can you reduce antibodies that are high?

Sure you can, it’s possible. My special area of focus is thyroid. I was the host of The Thyroid Summit in June 2014. One of the things I mentioned is how lemonbalm, motherwort and bugleweed all reduce antibodies that are high in Graves’ disease. Various speakers during this summit also shared their knowledge about leaky gut (intestinal permeability) and dysbiosis which allows food proteins to penetrate the bloodstream. In particular, gluten and casein can be pro-inflammatory.

The correct treatment for you, and your particular infection or autoimmune disorder varies. The immunosuppressive medications often increase risk of cancer, so I urge you to find the root cause of your autoimmune attack. Don’t submit yourself to years of expensive medications if you can instead, determine the underlying antigens and make changes to improve your health from the inside out.

The no-brainers in terms of improving immunity include the obvious, which I will mention but not elaborate.  First of all quit smoking if you possibly can, and eat a diet high in colorful vegetables and fruits. Exercise and lose weight if you need to. Control your blood pressure and if you drink, drink in moderation. Sleep as best you can. Here are the less obvious ways to improve immunity, these are my 5 Trojan Immune Shields that will keep you healthier this winter.

5 Trojan Immune Shields 

  1. Use Flunada when going out in public. This over-the-counter nasal/throat spray is sold at pharmacies nationwide. It’s a combination of elderberry, mint and wintergreen herbs that you spray to help protect yourself from pathogens. Because it’s sprayed in the nose and throat, you are killing pathogens at the site of entry. I use it all the time on flights and before going to the mall and I never catch col. It’s effective for cold and flu symptoms and has been clinically proven to kill 99% of the top cold and flu strains. It’s always in my purse.
  2. Giggle a little! Hang out with people who make you laugh, or at the very least, who raise your energy rather than drain you. Seriously! A study done in 2013 proved it, as if we didn’t already know just by seeing happy people less apt to fall sick. Laughter improves various antibodies such as IgM, IgA and IgG.  If you are prone to illness, take a look around. Are you friends with a lot of ‘Debby Downers’ or people who are critical of you? This takes a toll on your immune system and weakens it. When you rent movies, do you choose blood and guts movies, or do you prefer light-hearted ones? Try to rent more comedies and focus your energies on fun people, not those who are high drama. It’ll give your immune system a rest to have people around you who are supportive and kind, rather than critical and angry all the time.
  3. Get sunshine or take it in a pill! When the colder temperatures hit, and you are curled up by your fireplace for months your vitamin D levels plummet. That costs your immune system.  Researchers have found that vitamin D, which is produced by the skin when exposed to sunlight, signals your immune system to act like an antibiotic. We know this occurs with tuberculosis and other pathogens. Most physicians just look at the inactive form of vitamin D on your lab test (termed “25 D(OH)”) but there’s another way to look at vitamin D testing. You can’t just look at that one marker because that is the inactive form of vitamin D.  You should be looking at a ratio of the active form of D  to the inactive form.
  4. Introduce reishi mushrooms. I actually make a tea out of a reishi mushroom. These are big mushrooms, which I simmer in my slow cooker for 24 hours. The extract (tea) tastes pretty nasty, but the health benefits can’t be beat!  Ganoderma lucidum is the technical name of Reishi.
    Compounds in Reishi called polysaccharides increases the responsiveness of your antibodies, particularly IgG. When IgG works properly, it enhances the process in your body called “phagocytosis” which makes your cells gobble up and neutralize poisons. When phagocytosis occurs with a high levels of efficiency, the benefits include better energy, more restful sleep and reduced allergies. You can buy Reishi extracts in little bottles and you take the drops several times a day.
  5. Drink tea. You think I’m going to say green tea don’t you? I’m not.  I mean… you can certainly drink green tea, it is amazing and it does boost immunity. But you will read about green tea on every other website, and one thing about me is I specialize in fresh new content. My site is not another “me too” site, and so the tea that I want you to consider drinking is called “Tulsi” tea, or Holy Basil.  You can now buy commercially prepared teas for this, or steep your own if you get bulk herb.  Tulsi makes your body fight infections, including serious viral diseases. There is research to suggest it can help fight swine flu. In 2011, a double-blind, randomized trial found that capsules of holy basil leaves significantly improved T helper cells and Natural Killer (NK) cells proving that holy basic has strong immunomodulatory effects. This herb is also know to act kind of like a vacuum on your teeny tiny blood vessels (the capillaries) and it helps sweep out debri from them, prevent microvascular complications. This is very helpful for people with eyesight problems, as well as kidney disease, prediabetes and diabetes.

BONUS TIP
Sip a little hot water every 3 to 5 minutes, with a littler fresh lemon squeezed in it. You can grate the lemon rind (the pith) in the water too, but definitely squeeze some fresh lemon in the hot water. Sip it every about 5 minutes, for an hour or two.  Do this at least twice a day. It acts like a pump in your body and cleans out your lymph. The more filtered your system is, the more dilute the toxins become and this makes you feel better. When I do this, I feel hydrated, and I have more energy. Give it a try.

Some Medicines Weaken Your Immune Response
Certain prescription and non-prescription medications have a major impact on your body.
Excessive use of antibiotics weaken your immune system. Don’t take them unless you have to. They are not even useful for viruses, parasites, protozoal or fungal infections. They reduce your ability to fight by suppressing B vitamins and probiotics (which help you fight).  Researchers have shown that some people have reduced cytokines, the messengers in your immune system that help you fight.

Medications that fight fever reduce your immune function. These drugs weaken your immune system so only take them if the fever gets excessive. Remember, your body heats up to fight for you, the heat kills your pathogens. Cooling yourself off basically gives the bugs a chance to thrive.

If you have any kind of chronic infection, or suffer with an autoimmune disorder please make sure you have consulted with an immunologist, preferably one with training in Functional Medicine.

What Does Your Tongue Say About Your Health?

Published: September 7, 2015 | By Suzy Cohen

Dear Pharmacist,
Sometimes my tongue gets bald, red patches, or thick yellowish coatings on it. I can’t figure out why this happens, or what it means. My tongue looks nasty. Suzy, I don’t know who else to ask since it’s very embarrassing. My doctor says that it’s nothing to worry about. Do you agree?
–A.P., Ocala, Florida

 
I agree, don’t worry because worrying is a useless emotion that may actually attract to you the very thing you focus your attention on. Your time is better spent on finding out why this keeps happening, and then preventing episodes.
You describe what is termed “geographic tongue” because it looks like a map. The smooth, red patches are surrounded by grayish white areas; it’s freaky that the patchy areas can change location from day to day. The tiny bumps on the tongue called “papillae” fall off, that’s why you see the patches, but they are able to grow back.
 
Acupuncturists and Chinese Medicine doctors would never dismiss your tongue. It’s the first thing they want to see because it assists them in their diagnosis. Hey, I’d rather stick out my tongue and say ahhh, than get needled for blood and biopsies, wouldn’t you? And yes, I’ve had a tongue reading myself, just for fun.
 
To find a solution, you have to determine the cause. Geographic tongue may indicate a hormonal imbalance, low thyroid, liver disease, yeast overgrowth or a weakened immune system. Poor intestinal health, antibiotic use, liver disease, a bile disorder and digestive disorders (like Celiac, Crohn’s, IBS) all impact the color and texture of your tongue. People with methylcobalamin (B12) deficiencies, and other B vitamin deficiencies have tongue issues. Let me tell you, there are hundreds of drug muggers of B vitamins. Among them are antibiotics, antifungals, antacids, heartburn medications, certain blood pressure pills, female hormones and most anti-inflammatories.
 
Scalloped tongue – It’s usually thick or swollen and has a scallop design around the outer edge. This is usually related to sluggish spleen or thyroid function.
 
Pale Tongue – This could be tied to pernicious anemia, or iron deficiency anemia.
 
Vertical Crack – May signify difficulties in the stomach or heart. If the crack extends down the middle, but doesn’t reach the very tip, it’s most likely related to digestion.
 
Black Hairy Tongue – Dark-colored bacteria/fungus build up on the papillae and instead of shedding, they grow longer creating the hairy appearance. The ‘hair’ color may be white, yellow, green or brown colors depending on the color of your invading organism.
 
Glossopyrosis – Also called “Burning Mouth Syndrome” it may be related to Candida albicans overgrowth, B12, riboflavin or folic acid deficiency, insufficient probiotics and imbalanced hormones.
 
You may be able to prevent episodes by supplementing with high-quality immune-boosting supplements, probiotics, activated B complex, in particular methylcobalamin and 5-MTHF and digestive enzymes.

Pain Relief for Tendonitis, Sprains and Strains

Published: September 5, 2015 | By Suzy Cohen

Dear Pharmacist,

After years of hiking without many problems, I began experiencing pain near my ankle and heel.  My doctor diagnosed “Achilles tendonitis” and prescribed medicine which did reduce pain and swelling.  I’m still worried I’ll not be able to hike again. What natural remedies keep this at bay?  J.S. Boulder, CO

 Answer: Ouch, I’ve had tendonitis myself from over-typing and exercising so I hear ya’. This condition is usually an overuse injury and causes pain or swelling in the wrists, knee caps, elbows or Achilles tendons. Actually it can occur in any tendon and there are hundreds! Unfortunately, tendons don’t have a rich blood supply and that hinders adequate delivery of oxygen and nutrients. Simply put, tendons are slow to heal.

The most important thing you can do to improve tendonitis pain is to rest the area, that’s hard to do when it’s your foot! But tendons don’t recover if you keep overusing them. The next consideration (and this one is also free) is to ice the area to reduce inflammation but icing doesn’t help much after the first few days.  Supplements or medications do help.  Most of you will opt for medications like ibuprofen or naproxen (these are NSAIDs and are contraindicated in people with bleeding ulcers among other conditions). My personal favorite anti-inflammatory supplements include astaxanthin, saffron, and curcumin because they have other tremendous health benefits. Here are some more options that can help:

 Boswellia: A strong anti-inflammatory compound that works as effectively as NSAIDs.  Sometimes called “Indian Frankincense” this herb can be combined with any of the three supplements I mentioned above.

MSM– Methylsulfonylmethane:  MSM supports healthy connective tissues like tendons and ligaments. It’s used for arthritis too. This one is a must for prevention.

White willow (salix alba):  This is also know to increase fertility; willow bark may ease aches and pains.  Aspirin comes from white willow, and you can trust the herb to reduce pain and inflammation, however it is a mild blood thinner.

Ginger:  Great for inflammation and pain, especially around the joints.  You can buy fresh root at any grocery store and grate into your meals, or make tea. Ginger increases blood circulation (be careful with other blood thinners).

Ruta (ruta graveolens): This homeopathic remedy is used for tendon pain, especially in the Achilles, feet, hips, wrists, and areas near other joints.  Boiron makes this in pellet form.

Arnica (arnica montana): Also a homeopathic, arnica has been used for centuries to treat general pain.  It can be taken orally or applied topically.  The topical cream Traumeel by Heel contains arnica and several other healing compounds targeted specifically to reduce pain and inflammation from strains and sprains. I’m never without Traumeel!

Tendonitis can sometimes be the result of arthritis, gout, Reiter syndrome or Ankylosing spondylitis, Lyme disease or other conditions. It’s harder to treat so be sure to see your doctor for a correct diagnosis and to ask if these supplements are right for you.  

Are Your Vitamins Helping or Hurting You?

Published: September 1, 2015 | By Suzy Cohen

Recently, I was watching the news and saw headlines that suggested taking vitamins could be dangerous for our health and I was alarmed. Truthfully, it just annoys me that snippets about this study get any media coverage at all.  I don’t know one person, not one, who has been harmed by taking nutritional supplements! Since I scour the news -both print and television- I have seen firsthand the sensational headlines intended to invoke fear in our society, and drive more people into the arms of proven methods of healing, whatever those may be. You have to live under a rock to NOT be aware that certain people in positions of power are downing the entire supplement industry, one nutrient at a time with the primary goal to either ban certain nutrients or make them available only by prescription. Did you know that you can get a prescription form of the B vitamin “folic acid” as well as fish oil supplements right now?

The news that multivitamins, vitamin B6, folic acid, iron, magnesium, zinc and copper might hasten our death is just ridiculous, and I hope my article shows you how easily statistics can be manipulated. This was reported in October 2011, in The Archives of Internal Medicine, a journal I normally respect.

Do you really think vitamins and minerals are suddenly bad for you? By that token, you would have to believe that eating vegetables, fruits, and nuts are bad too, because they contain the same nutrients as those proposed to be deadly in this study! C’mon people! Should we all go on a lollipop diet? That’s right, I just want to suck lollipops all day, those must be safe because there are no studies to prove that they’re harmful. Yet.

When you hear bold headlines, it is important to consider what the strong points and the flaws of the study might be. Does something sound too good to be true?  Or, can the numbers and percentages be skewed in a favorable direction by including (or excluding) a particular arm of the study trial. If you massage numbers enough, you will be able to conclude all sorts of interesting things. You’ll see that below in Point #1.

Your conclusion will be the same as mine if you think about this particular study, that is to say: It’s sad when Mother Nature is questioned, and vitamins are condemned based on weak and disconnected statistics, yet other therapies that literally include “myocardial infarction” as a side effect remain on the market. This scary fact doesn’t get any airtime. Now, I’ll go through some of the reasons I feel this study should be ignored. We can do this together, it’s easy, and you’ll be amazed.

Point #1: Numbers are a very fun thing to play with, you can skew them any way you want to, and draw different conclusions. If I take the same study, and massage the data by accounting for age and energy intake (ignoring the other numbers that account for disease, lifestyle and dietary habits) then the news about vitamins would have been good. It’s not that the results should be presented this way, or that, I’m just showing you that data can be presented in all sorts of ways, depending on what you want to prove.  I found out from the Health Ranger Mike Adams website (Natural News)that the following POSITIVE associations with vitamins occurred:

• Vitamin B complex was associated with a 7% reduction in mortality

• Vitamin C was associated with a 4% reduction in mortality

• Vitamin D was associated with an 8% reduction in mortality

• Magnesium was associated with a 3% reduction in mortality

• Selenium was associated with a 3% reduction in mortality

• Zinc was associated with a 3% reduction in mortality

Point #2: The conclusions drawn, were not based upon an actual clinical trial that offered a double-blind, placebo controlled analysis. Not that nutrition research needs to always have a research clinical trial associated with it, but if you are going to draw conclusions about death rates, then certainly it’s reasonable to expect a trial!  In this case, the conclusion regarding mortality was drawn from data that tracked 38,722 older women who said they took vitamins for 20 years. Key word “said.”

Point #3: The University of Minnesota researchers had women fill out questionnaires. The women “said” they took vitamins. That’s it! Should scientists draw sweeping conclusions about mortality based on questionnaires? Have you ever filled out a long questionnaire and fibbed a little, maybe you were in a hurry or thought what you wrote down would affect the way you were treated? Can you remember if you took a supplement 20 years ago, or for what period of time? I can’t remember what I took last month, no less 20 years ago when I was 26 years old. The death rate could be due to any number of factors, not necessarily because a vitamin was taken. Let’s talk more about that death rate now.

Point #4: Women who said they took supplements experienced, on average, a 2.4 percent increased risk of dying over the course of two decades, compared with women who didn’t take supplements, after the researchers adjusted for factors including the women’s age and calorie intake. Is 2.4 percent significant to you when you are dealing with this demographic? Here’s how they got that. Let’s use the example of a plain multivitamin. Of the 12,769 women who took a daily multivitamin (keep in mind, this is all based on a self-reporting system), 40.8 percent had died by the end of 2008, whereas 39.8 percent of the 10,161 women who had not taken a daily multivitamin had died. Wow! 40.8 % vs. 39.8 %. Seems like somebody is playing with numbers here. It’s really just a 1 percent difference, but it sounds scarier to skew the stats and tell people there was  a “2.4 % increase.” Boo!

Point #5: What was the baseline health status of the women? Remember that the women who began the study were 62 years of age or older back in 1986 when the trial began. They were followed for about 20 years and during that time some of them may have had simmering health issues (like high blood glucose, cholesterol or undiagnosed kidney impairment) that they were unaware of.  Further, what if these ladies failed to take vitamins in their youthful years, or took poor quality ones? Did they exercise in their youth or as adults? What was their cholesterol, insulin, Lp(a), body mass index, homocysteine levels and CRP levels? Did they have digestive problems? Who knows? Well-informed scientists would never assign sole blame to vitamins when the data is being extracting from seniors who almost always have multiple health concerns and take numerous prescription drugs. There’s no linear connection, do you see how ridiculous this all is?!

Point #6: Nutritional status was never objectively evaluated. How did they eat? Did they smoke?  Were they exposed to pollution or UV radiation, two well-known causes for free-radical damage? What if they ate a poor diet? For all we know they were taking dietary supplements in between cheeseburgers and fries, rather than part of a healthy well-balanced diet. It’s irresponsible to blame vitamins for death when the women may have been ill to begin with, and may have been deficient in key nutrients.

Point #7: What was their medication profile like? This was the most obvious gap in the article as far as I’m concerned. I suspect there was a lot of drug mugging going on! These ladies could very well have been so nutritionally depleted that they died of some other reason? Studies show that a CoQ10 deficiency can be a contributing factor (if not lead to) congestive heart failure. Did you know that there are hundreds of medications that suppress CoQ10 in our body? What were their levels? What about magnesium? This is a mineral important for heart rhythm. It’s absolutely crucial and dozens of medications are drug muggers of this mineral. My point? Not one of the participants was ever given a Cardio-ION, Genova or SpectraCell blood test to determine baseline micronutrient status? Ever. Let’s focus on vitamin B6 deficiency right now. Over 150 drugs rob your body of that. Run low of B6 and you’re levels of toxic homocysteine will climb, raising risk for hypertension, heart attack and stroke! So how did these scientists sort out whether these elderly women were dreadfully deficient of a particular vitamin, or died from taking one? They didn’t. For more on drug nutrient depletion, read my book Drug Muggers, Which Medications are Robbing Your Body of Essential Nutrients and How to Restore Them” (Rodale 2011) sold on Amazon and at book stores nationwide.  You can also buy an exclusive hardcover edition of the same book from Rodale, CLICK HERE.

Point #8: This was not a clinical trial, with a placebo arm. This was what is called a “survey study” or an “observational study.” Any conclusions drawn from these types of studies are very limited, as you cannot determine cause and effect from these types of studies. It’s never good to draw conclusions from observations. For example, my observation is that some people who get admitted to a hospital pass away. Shall we therefore conclude that hospitalization contributes to a higher death rate?

Point #9: Vitamins and minerals are just supplements that fill a nutritional gap, and if you refer to point #1, you’ll see all the positive findings that were not provided to you. Your cells are hungry for nutrients; they make all your biochemical reactions go off without a hitch. I used to tell my kids that vitamins were just like a ‘salad in a pill’ providing you with some nutrients that come from good food. Now, with that said, I firmly believe that it’s best to get nutrients from eating living plant-based foods, and juicing every day. This is your best source of healthy nutrients, and enzymes. And use dietary supplements to fill those nutrient gaps, or to restore what medication may be depleting. There’s nothing wrong with that in my world.

But if you believe the recent hype, you might start to believe that the very nutrients extracted from foods and put into dietary supplements are bad too. From that you might also conclude that eating healthy foods would then be bad too! See how nonsensical this is. You would never conclude that because we know certain foods  are good for us (organic fruits and vegetables, nuts etc) and  certain foods are bad for us (trans fats, artificial ingredients and additives and refined processed foods).

Remember my friends, dietary supplements are regulated by the DSHEA Act of 1994, through the FDA. They are intended to SUPPORT adequate nutrition, not to prevent disease, and certainly not to prevent death. If you have concerns, it’s always best to ask your health care provider(s) and your local pharmacist what is right for you. Because vitamins do have an impact on the body, it’s ideal to customize your regimen based on your activities, age, gender, medication profile and dietary habits.